High court to hear UDM, government case over rolling blackouts crisis

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As the rolling blackouts are one of the reasons for today’s national shutdown initiated by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the matter between the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and government over rolling blackouts is expected to be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday morning.

It will be heard before a full bench of the high court. The UDM, metal workers union NUMSA, Build One South Africa (BOSA), the Health and Allied workers Indaba Trade Union ( HAITU), SAFTU and fourteen other applicants want the court to force government to stop rolling blackouts.

The respondents in the matter include the Eskom Board and management, the national energy regulator- NERSA, as well as the departments of Public Enterprises, Mineral Resources and Energy.

Related Video: Unions call for a national shutdown against Eskom tariffs and worsening power crisis

NUMSA says President Ramaphosa’s responding court papers reveal that he is refusing to take any responsibility for rolling blackouts.

Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says the President claims that none of the government respondents cited in the matter have a constitutional obligation to supply electricity to the public. She adds that the President is shifting the blame to local government and municipalities.

Hlubi-Majola says the purpose of the court challenge is to expose how decisions taken by the three spheres of government, including what NUMSA calls, the disastrous decisions taken by the former Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter, contributed to rolling blackouts.

The matter is expected to be heard from today until the end of the week.